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Collections | Music Manuscripts & Printed Music

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Arnold Schoenberg image

Arnold Schoenberg (1874–1951)
Autograph manuscript, 1911
The Mary Flagler Cary Music Collection; Cary 282
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Gurrelieder (Songs of Gurre), a setting of poems by the Danish novelist and poet Jens Peter Jacobsen, was Schoenberg's first great success. The work occupied the composer intermittently for over a decade, from 1900 to 1911. Five days after the premiere, in Vienna on 23 February 1913, Schoenberg's old friend David Josef Bach wrote in the Arbeiter-Zeitung that when the work ended, "the audience's emotion erupted into an ovation lasting a quarter of an hour. This was genuine rejoicing, even if one or another member of the public may have introduced a jarring note of snobbery. What does it matter? Schoenberg has thirsted for recognition long enough; one may allow him to swallow a drop of harmless poison along with the honey of success."

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.